We’ve all been living this pandemic, though socially distant. Through living it, we’ve been watching the news, reading the articles, arranging plans, rearranging them again…
And, still none of us really know what’s going on.
As many of you know, just prior to the announcement of the global shut down, The Climbing Connection was two weeks into a crowdfunding campaign. We hoped to raise funds for a proper fleet of gear, legal fees, and program development. Like most things in our words back in February/March, this came to an abrupt stop. Before officially announcing that I was going to soft-close the campaign, I floundered for a few weeks figuring out how to let it go. Watching everyone, myself included, panic for a few weeks about how everything was “falling apart” brought clarity to the decision.
It was time to assess the storm.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been holding off making any major decisions including what to do with the generous donations that did come in from the crowdfunding campaign. Just like on a guided trip, or out in the mountains, I make a practice of gathering as much information as possible before making any large decisions. Now that states are loosening restrictions on closures, it’s time to start taking steps forward.
Exactly what those steps are, is coming slowly as new information becomes available. What we are working on is taking steps to identify a plan forward given that operating trips and programs in person in the 2020 season is rather unlikely. Given this reality, I’ve been considering rearranging the model to become a 503(c) organization. I’ve also determined that purchasing guiding insurance is better done when I can offer in person programming, so we are holding off on that. Time has been better spent piloting different virtual programs. Overall, response to these has been very positive. We’ll be launching a virtual programs section of our website to make these programs available to a larger audience. While these resources are initially mental/strength training based, we eventually hope to find ways to serve schools, community organizations, and mental health agencies through this pandemic.
We are also using this time to fill the rewards that people invested in for the crowdfunding campaign! T-shirts are in and will be shipped out soon. These, along with other rewards, are always available if you feel called to support the work we’re doing. More details are on the crowdfunding site (link above)
We’ll keep posting updates here as to what our next steps are. Our end goal is to still support our community and find ways to facilitate ever important connection while we all move through together.
Here are some of the resources we frequent for industry recommendations and updates: